You’re investing a lot of your savings into your new house, and you can’t wait to move in. Everything appears to be in good condition as far as you can see, and the previous owners seem trustworthy. Is the home inspection cost and extra time it takes really worth it? In many cases, this simple service could end up saving you thousands down the road, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially on big investments.
If the house you’re purchasing is a new build, you might think a home inspection would be redundant. But a new construction home inspection is just as important as an inspection for an older home. New home inspections may detect issues with the build and help figure out if the house will withstand the test of time.
You might also be wondering, is a home inspection required? In most cases, the answer is no. It’s usually not required that you purchase home inspection services before buying a house. Most mortgage lenders require an appraisal, but appraisals just determine value, not condition. Home inspections are for the buyer’s benefit, and it’s one you really should consider taking advantage of.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you need to know about professional home inspections, so you’re prepared when the time comes to take a closer look at your soon-to-be new home.
How Much is a Home Inspection?
According to Realtor.com, home inspection costs can range from $300–$500. It may be tempting to skip that extra expense, but what if one of those monster repairs are lurking around the corner? Things to fail a home inspection can include foundation issues, electrical problems, leaks, and rotting wood—just to name a few. So, though a home inspection is not required, it can buy a little peace of mind and potentially help you negotiate the offer price down.
Types of Home Inspection Services
Once you decide to get a home inspection, you’ll want to consider the different types of home inspections. The most common is a general or residential inspection—the one you get to inspect the overall condition of the home you are interested in purchasing. A wood destroying insect inspection—one that looks for termites or other organisms that could possibly cause damage to your property—is also something to consider, especially if you live in a hot spot for these types of pests.
There are also home inspection services for mold, which use tools like moisture mapping and air and surface sampling. Researching the area you are moving to and the history of the house may help you determine whether these types of inspections are needed.
How to Find an Inspector
Once you’ve done your research and decided on which inspections you need, the next step is to find a good inspector. If you are in the market for a home inspection and don’t know where to start, here are a few options.
- Ask your real estate agent. Home inspection recommendations should definitely be included in your list of real estate professional. Your real estate agent should have a large network of professional contacts, so they’ll most likely have a few well-reviewed home inspectors.
- Ask friends and family. Going through the process of purchasing a home is something a lot of people do in their adult life, so asking local friends and family for recommendations can definitely help.
- Read reviews. If you think you’ve figured out “the one” in terms of inspectors, don’t forget to do a quick Google search and check out their rating. If there seems to be consistent problems with numerous clients, you might want to find someone else.
Questions to Ask an Inspector
Once you have a list of viable inspectors, it’s also recommended you interview them to ensure that you have full confidence in their skill set and inspection quality.
Here are a few sample questions to ask your inspector before hiring them:
1. Are you licensed, trained, or certified? Check your state’s requirements and regulations, if any, for home inspectors.
2. How long have you been in this industry?
3. What does your specific experience detail? (You will want someone familiar with the type of property you are buying—whether it is old or new, has special features, or is built with exotic/unusual materials.)
4. What exactly will you inspect? (This would be a good time to go over your home inspection checklist with them and make sure they’re planning on covering all of these areas.)
5. Can I be present when you conduct the inspection? (Being present can give you valuable insight on your new investment.)
6. Do you offer a full, detailed report of your write-up, and what will it include?
7. How long does your home inspection take? (Professional home inspections usually only take about three hours tops.)
Home inspections for buyers are highly recommended and almost always worth the price, but what about protecting your home after you move in? An American Home Shield® home warranty can take care of the major components of your appliances and systems when they break down—no matter their age. We know you have the home purchase, inspection, and move in handled, but take a look at our home warranty plans for homebuyers to ensure that your hardworking home items are covered. For more great resources, check out more home buying information and tips for homebuyers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
La-Tessa Montgomery is an avid & adventurous, novice gardener. She is also a single mother of three and a first time homeowner who bravely faces all homeownership challenges by keeping her loving stepfather on speed dial. In addition to gardening, La-Tessa’s hobbies include cooking, photography, and writing. She’s earned recognition for both her photography and writing via contest wins, peer acknowledgements, and participation in local photo exhibitions.
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